State Capitol News
9:14 am
Fri March 6, 2009

House panel votes to shut down photo radar

Phoenix, AZ – A House panel voted Thursday to shut down the state's new photo
radar system. But that does have some financial implications.

When Janet Napolitano was governor she insisted on a provision in
the budget directing the Department of Public Safety to set up
statewide photo enforcement, at least in part in hopes of raising
$90 million in nine months. Napolitano is now gone. And Rep. Andy
Biggs said he hopes that gives him an opportunity to cancel the
contract. That means no more revenue from the tickets. But Rep.
Eric Meyer also noted a budget analyst says the state could be
liable for $50 to $100 million in damages for breaking the
contract. Biggs disagreed.

"What the amount of damages is, no one can accurately say. But
the idea that it's $50 to $100 million, in my mind, is clearly
absurd."

But Rep. Steve Farley said there will be a cost. Behond that, he
said speeding is illegal and DPS officers can't be everywhere at
all times.

"There are more dangerous places than others in which there is a
history of speeding and a history of accidents. And we have seen
much information and studies about how speeding does end up being
a contributing factor to a majority of accidents on our
roadways."

But most of the members of the Transportation Committee agreed
with Biggs and voted to kill the program.